Being a mom doesn’t have to stop you from learning. While you’ll learn new things every day as a mother, you might find that you want to continue with other forms of education too. Whether you’re revisiting your education after a break to enjoy motherhood or you’re seeking opportunities that weren’t available to your before, it’s never too late to learn new things. If you’re concerned about managing motherhood and education, take a look at these top tips to help make it work for you.
1. Make a plan
The best way to be able to juggle motherhood and education is to make a plan. Much like when you were at school, you’re going to need to work out a schedule to fit in the required hours around looking after your family and taking time for yourself as well. When you’re tied to classes on certain days and times, you’ll have limited flexibility and will need to be prepared in advance.
Getting your family on a schedule will be a big help to help you all stay on track. A wall planner that details who’s doing what and when will help you all to manage your time so that you can fit in your classes without missing anything important at home.
2. Do some pre-studying studying
If you’re nervous about returning to education or are worried about fitting it all in, then a test-run could be what you need to build your confidence and help you get back into the swing of it. You don’t have to begin with anything too difficult, reading a textbook or doing some quizzes can help you settle back into learning habits you might have forgotten about and prepare you for returning to education.
Doing some preparation will help you work out if this is really the best way forward for you. It will help you to get into the habit of studying while managing your other responsibilities.
3. Get organized at home
Now that you’ll be dedicating some of your time towards your education, you’re going to need to get better at managing chores. There are some great life hacks for moms that can teach you some great tricks, but there’s a lot to be said for forward-planning and preparation to help you stay on top of things. Batch cooking meals on the weekends will save you time preparing food during the week, and you might need to get some extra help with other chores around the house.
Multi-tasking will be a new way of life for you, so think of ways you can manage the laundry, cleaning and other chores while studying to help you stay on top.
4. Get help with childcare
Managing childcare with your education can be difficult, but there may be some good options you can consider to make it easier. Getting friends or relatives to help you out could ease some of the pressure, or you might need to consider some paid childcare to help you out while you’re in class. There may be times that you’ll have no choice but to miss a class because of a lack of childcare, but having that discussion with your tutor in advance could help them be more understanding.
If concerns about childcare are holding you back from starting your education, you might want to think about taking evening classes instead so that your partner can take care of the family while you’re in class.
5. Try distance learning
The great thing about education today is that it’s flexible – perfect for those who want to study while juggling other commitments. Undertaking a distance learning course online can help you achieve qualifications and learn new skills while being able to do so at your own pace. There are some good examples of institutions that are perfect for mothers wanting to further their careers. Our Lady of The Lake College teaches online Bachelor of Nursing degrees for registered nurses which allow for flexible, effective learning. On their website, they ask – ‘what makes Our Lady of the Lake online RN-BSN Nursing unique?’ The answer is pretty simple – the combination of high-quality materials and supportive learning environment are two great reasons to study online.
You’ll be surprised at the volume of institutions that offer distance learning, covering a range of subjects that could help you to boost your career.
6. Be a good student
Unlike your school days where you seemingly had endless periods of free time, when juggling a family your free time can be in short supply. Rather than putting things off until the last minute, get ahead of the game and get your assignments and studying done early. Forming good habits from the very beginning will make it easier for you to manage your workload, and will give you time to ask questions and take things at a good pace – rather than feeling the pressure when it’s almost deadline time!
Remember if you’re struggling that most institutions will be understanding of your needs. Seek help at the earliest opportunity, and they might be able to offer you some flexibility with deadlines as well as give you extra help if needed.
7. Enjoy it!
While there is a lot of preparation to be done to ensure that you manage motherhood and studying successfully, it’s important that you enjoy it. Studying can be a great way to do something for yourself and shift your focus away from work or home pressures and just enjoy using your brain differently. If you weren’t the studying type in school, you can help yourself to love studying and make it something to look forward to. Whether you’re studying to better yourself or to progress in your career, there’s no reason why you can’t make it fun.
Juggling motherhood and education doesn’t have to be as difficult as it sounds. Women manage it every day, and the gains for your career can certainly be worth the short-term pain. There’s a lot of great advice out there for finding the balance between home life and a career, and there’s no good reason why you can’t have it all. It may be a rough road, but you’ll be glad you did it if it means creating a better future for yourself and your family.